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Effects of Organic Fertilizers and a Microbial Inoculant on Leaf Photosynthesis and Fruit Yield and Quality of Tomato Plants

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An experiment was conducted to examine the effects of applications of an organic fertilizer (bokashi), and chicken manure as well as inoculation of a microbial inoculant (commercial name, EM) to bokashi and chicken manure on photosynthesis and fruit yield and quality of tomato plants. EM inoculation to both bokashi and chicken manure increased photosynthesis, fruit yield of tomato plants. Concentrations of sugars and organic acids were higher in fruit of plants fertilized with bokashi than in fruit of other treatments. Vitamin C concentration was higher in fruit from chicken manure and bokashi plots than in those from chemical fertilizer plots. EM inoculation increased vitamin C concentration in fruit from all fertilization treatments. It is concluded that both fruit quality and yield could be significantly increased by EM inoculation to the organic fertilizers and application directly to the soil.
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Effects of Organic Fertilizers
and a Microbial Inoculant on
Leaf Photosynthesis and Fruit
Yield and Quality of Tomato
Plants
Hui-Lian Xu a , Ran Wang b & Md. Amin U. Mridha c
a International Nature Farming Research Center ,
5632 Hata, Nagano, 390-1401, Japan
b Laiyang Agricultural University , Laiyang,
Shandong, China
c Department of Botany , Chittagong University ,
Chittagong, Bangladesh
Published online: 20 Oct 2008.
To cite this article: Hui-Lian Xu , Ran Wang & Md. Amin U. Mridha (2001) Effects of
Organic Fertilizers and a Microbial Inoculant on Leaf Photosynthesis and Fruit Yield
and Quality of Tomato Plants, Journal of Crop Production, 3:1, 173-182, DOI: 10.1300/
J144v03n01_15
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J144v03n01_15
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Effects of Organic Fertilizers
and a Microbial Inoculant
on Leaf Photosynthesis and Fruit Yield
and Quality of Tomato Plants
Hui-lian Xu
Ran Wang
Md. Amin U. Mridha
SUMMARY. An experiment was conducted to examine the effects of
applications of an organic fertilizer (bokashi), and chicken manure as
well as inoculation of a microbial inoculant (commercial name, EM) to
bokashi and chicken manure on photosynthesis and fruit yield and
quality of tomato plants. EM inoculation to both bokashi and chicken
manure increased photosynthesis, fruit yield of tomato plants. Con-
centrations of sugars and organic acids were higher in fruit of plants
fertilized with bokashi than in fruit of other treatments. Vitamin C
concentration was higher in fruit from chicken manure and bokashi
plots than in those from chemical fertilizer plots. EM inoculation in-
creased vitamin C concentration in fruit from all fertilization treat-
ments. It is concluded that both fruit quality and yield could be signifi-
Hui-lian Xu is Senior Crop Scientist, International Nature Farming Research
Center, 5632 Hata, Nagano 390-1401, Japan. Ran Wang is Professor, Laiyang Agri-
cultural University, Laiyang, Shandong, China. Md. Amin U. Mridha is Professor,
Department of Botany, Chittagong University, Chittagong, Bangladesh.
Address correspondence to: Hui-lian Xu at the above address (E-mail: huilian@
janis.or.jp).
[Haworth co-indexing entry note]: ‘‘Effects of Organic Fertilizers and a Microbial Inoculant on Leaf
Photosynthesis and Fruit Yield and Quality of Tomato Plants.’’ Xu, Hui-lian, Ran Wang, and Md. Amin U.
Mridha. Co-published simultaneously in Journal of Crop Production (Food Products Press, an imprint of
The Haworth Press, Inc.) Vol. 3, No. 1 (#5), 2000, pp. 173-182; and: Nature Farming and Microbial
Applications (ed: Hui-lian Xu, James F.Parr, and Hiroshi Umemura) Food Products Press, an imprint of The
Haworth Press, Inc., 2000, pp. 173-182. Single or multiple copies of this article are available for a fee from
The Haworth Document Delivery Service [1-800-342-9678, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (EST). E-mail address:
getinfo@haworthpressinc.com].
E2000 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved. 173
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NATURE FARMING AND MICROBIAL APPLICATIONS
174
cantly increased by EM inoculation to the organic fertilizers and
application directly to the soil. [Article copies available for a fee from The
Haworth Document Delivery Service: 1-800-342-9678. E-mail address:
getinfo@haworthpressinc.com <Website: http://www.HaworthPress.com>]
KEYWORDS. Effective microorganisms, EM, nature farming, organic
farming, sugar, organic acid, tomato
INTRODUCTION
Excessive use of chemical fertilizers has caused many problems in envi-
ronmental pollution and soil degradation. With these concerns, many farmers
in Japan have adopted nature farming practices. The concept and principles
of nature farming were proposed by Mokichi Okada more than 60 years ago
(Okada, 1993). Because chemical fertilizers and untreated animal products
are not allowed in nature farming systems for crop and vegetable production,
it is not easy to achieve yields equal to or higher than those obtained with
chemical fertilizers. First, the growers must seek an alternative nutrient
source. An organic fertilizer often used by farmers is called bokashi, which is
a fermented mixture of oilseed cake, rice bran and fish-processing by-product
(Yamada et al., 1996). A microbial culture called Effective Microorganisms
or EM is often inoculated into bokashi before fermentation (Higa, 1994).
This kind of organic fertilizer with EM inoculated is called EM bokashi. EM
bokashi has been to be a useful nutrient source, but the other aspects of EM
bokashi need to be elucidated. Therefore, a research project was initiated to
examine the performance of EM bokashi in vegetable production. The first
experiment was conducted to examine the effects of EM inoculation to boka-
shi and chicken manure on fruit yield and quality of tomato plants.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Materials and Treatments
Tom at o (L. esculentum L. cv. Momotaro T 96) seedlings with 5 leaves
were transplanted into plastic pots each with a surface area of 0.02 m2and a
height of 0.25 m. The pots were arranged randomly in a glasshouse. Six
fertilization treatments each with 33 pots were as follows: (1) chicken ma-
nure; (2) chicken manure with EM (effective microorganisms, EM1) inocu-
lated before fermentation; (3) anaerobic bokashi (anaerobically fermented
organic materials such as rice bran, rapeseed mill cake and fish processing
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Part II: Microbial Applications 175
by-product); (4) anaerobic bokashi with EM inoculated before fermentation;
(5) chemical fertilizer (ammonium sulfate 5.3 g, superphosphate 13 g and
potassium sulfate 5 g per pot; and (6) the same amount of chemical fertilizer
as in treatment (5) with 80 ml EM applied together. The amounts of N-P-K
were adjusted to the same levels for all treatments.
Photosynthetic Measurement
Photosynthesis was measured using Li-6400 Portable Photosynthesis Sys-
tem (LI-COR Inc. Lincoln, Nebraska, USA) at 50 and 90 days after tomato
plants were transplanted. The 5th leaf from the top was used for measure-
ments for each sampled plant. The maximum gross photosynthetic capacity
(PC), the quantum yield (YQ=KPC) and dark respiration rate (RD)were
analyzed from a light response curve modeled using an exponential equation,
PN=PC(1 eKI)RD,whereKis a constant and Iis the photosynthetic
photon flux (Xu et al., 1995).
Preparation of Plant, Soil and Fruit Samples
The whole plant was sampled with leaves and stem separated on the 50
and 90 days after tomato plants were transplanted. The samples were dried in
an oven at 105_C for 2 h and under 85_C over 24 h. Dry mass of a whole
plant was recorded and the dry material was ground with a vibrating sample
mill. A prepared sample of 5 g was used for measurements of mineral salts
and other nutrients. The tomato fruits were picked once a week when tomato
fruits began to ripen 2.5 months after being transplanted. The fruit yield, the
crack rate and single fruit mass were calculated. A slice representing the
whole fruit was used for fruit quality analysis. The duration involved in fruit
development from pollination to maturity were divided into 4 stages as (1) 15
days after pollination with small size and green color; (2) fruit begin to turn
color from green to white; (3) fruit in orange color; and (4) fruit in red color.
The soil samples were taken at the same time as the plant samples.
Mineral Analyses of Soil and Plant Samples
Concentrations of K, Mg and Ca in plant and fruits were determined with
an atomic absorption spectrophotometer (180-30, HITACHI, Japan); con-
centrations of total N and C were measured by MT-700 CN CORDER (Yana-
co, Japan); and concentrations of nitrate-N and phosphorus were determined
by colorimetry.
Analysis of Fruit Quality
Fresh fruit tissue was homogenized with distilled water in a ratio of 1:4.
The homogenate was centrifuged at 8000 ×g for 15 min at 4_Candthe
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NATURE FARMING AND MICROBIAL APPLICATIONS
176
supernatant passed through 0.45-μm filter. Sugars were measured by HPLC
(Jasco) with RI-930 Detector and a column of Shodex SC1011) at a column
temperature of 80_Candaflowrateof1mlmin
1. Organic acids were
measured by HPLC (Jasco) with UV-970 Detector and column of Shodex
RSPark KC-811 at a column temperature of 40_Candaflowrateof0.75ml
min1. Vitamin C was determined by a reflectometer (RQflex, Merck).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Plant Growth and Fruit Yield
Organic Fertilization. At the early growth stage, plant growth or fruit
yield was lower in the bokashi plots but turned higher at later growth stages,
compared with the chemical-fertilized plants (Figure 1, Table 1). This might
be due to the low nutrient availability at the beginning, which limited the
plant growth. In the present study, the organic fertilizer is an anaerobically
fermented mixture of organic materials. Nutrients, especially nitrogen, are
not mineralized immediately after fermentation. The mineralization of the
nutrients takes a period of time even when applied to the soil. That is why the
plants fertilized with organic materials grew more slowly than those fertilized
with chemical fertilizers at earlier stages. Therefore, the growers should take
some measures to make the nutrients in organic materials available before
plants begin their rapid growth. Nutrients in chemical fertilizers are immedi-
ately available when applied to the soil but the sustainability is low. As shown
in Table 2, 50 days after the seedlings were transplanted, nitrate and available
FIGURE 1. Fruit yield at different stages of tomato plants with different fertiliza-
tion treatments.
3
2
1
0
ChM
Org
Chem
ChM-EM
Org-EM
Chem-EM
0123456789
Week of harvest
Fruit yield (kg plant1)
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Part II: Microbial Applications 177
TABLE 1. Fruit yield and number, abnormal and green fruit and fruit size as well
as photosynthetic capacity (PC), respiration (RD) and quantum yield (YQ)at
later growth stage of tomato plants under different fertilizations.
Treatment Fruit characteristics Photosynthetic parameter
Yield Numb. Abnormal Green Size PCRDYQ
(g plt1)(plt
1)(%) (%) (g) (μmol m2s1) (mmol mol1)
ChM 823 8.0 9.8 8.1 94.5 17.6 1.02 19.5
32 0.4 3.4 1.7 2.5 1.2 0.02 2.7
ChM + EM 935 8.8 9.5 5.9 100.4 19.3 1.31 24.3
63 0.6 2.0 1.3 3.0 1.7 0.02 2.9
Org 622 6.2 17.3 20.0 81.1 20.4 1.05 31.2
36 0.4 2.8 3.9 3.9 2.1 0.01 3.4
Org + EM 723 7.3 17.2 18.5 81.6 23.1 1.84 34.4
59 0.7 3.9 2.7 2.5 1.6 0.02 1.8
Che 818 7.1 12.4 11.4 102.4 18.4 1.12 30.7
21 0.2 3.5 2.9 2.5 1.3 0.03 2.5
Che + EM 1012 10.1 8.7 9.4 91.2 20.2 1.65 34.5
30 0.3 1.8 1.8 2.8 0.9 0.02 2.9
Data showing means SE (n = 9). ChM = chicken manure; Org = bokashi; Che = chemical fertilizer.
phosphorus concentrations were higher with bokashi and chicken manure
treatments than for the chemical fertilizer treatment. The nutrients in the
chemical treatment might be lost by leaching from the soil-root zone in
irrigation water at the early growth stages. On the contrary, organic materials
could sustain the nutrients for a longer time than chemical fertilizers. More-
over, organic materials also contain micronutrients in addition to the macro-
nutrients that are available in chemical fertilizers. Some macronutrients such
as calcium and magnesium were included in organic fertilizers but not chemi-
cal fertilizers and consequently were more in soils fertilized with bokashi and
chicken manure than soils treated with chemical fertilizer (Table 2). There-
fore, at the later growth stages, plants fertilized with organic materials grew
better than those fertilized with chemical fertilizers. The chicken manure
used in the present study was aerobically treated before application and no
growth limitation was observed at the early stages. However, the nutrients
could not be sustained at the later growth stage of plants with either chicken
manure or chemical fertilizer treatment, compared with bokashi.
Effects of EM Inoculation. EM inoculation increased plant growth and
fruit yield in all treatments. EM was inoculated to the organic materials or
chicken manure before anaerobic fermentation. The microorganisms were
reproduced and changed the properties of the organic materials. Some micro-
organisms produce plant growth regulators (Arshad and Frankenberger Jr.,
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NATURE FARMING AND MICROBIAL APPLICATIONS
178
TABLE 2. The concentration (mg kg1) of mineral salts and C:N in soil in 50
days and 90 days after tomato seedlings were transplanted.
Treat. T-C T-N C:N NH4+NO3Av.-P K2OCaOMgO
50 days after transplanting
ChM 58.5 4.5 12.9 8.2 174.2 517.9 939 4367 960
1.36 0.01 0.41 30.36 7.67 111. 5 419.2 67.2
ChM + EM 58.0 4.6 12.6 8.2 175.7 573.5 880 4879 1020
1.36 0.07 1.22 12.22 83.73 35.3 262 37.2
Org 60.2 5.0 12.0 11.4 367.0 318.0 630 4030 1161
0.82 0.07 3.04 154.1 35.12 194.0 41.9 13.8
Org + EM 60.3 5.0 12.0 10.2 279.0 356.7 358 3720 1070
0.88 0.18 2.75 163.8 43.33 97.4 149.1 87.9
Che 54.9 4.2 13.1 32.6 152.3 209.8 327 5110 825
0.96 0.03 10.75 17.60 28.48 10.8 282.0 34.5
Che + EM 55.7 4.3 13.1 35.53 115.6 271.1 288 5112 761
0.50 0.03 9.77 34.48 8.82 22.5 319.0 64.5
90 days after transplanting
ChM 57.1 4.7 12.0 10.1 21.2 726.8 601 5481 1034
0.93 0.04 0.88 2.91 75.35 91.5 44.4 22.9
ChM + EM 58.1 4.7 12.3 10.5 20.89 674.8 511 5233 1010
0.59 0.03 0.70 1.62 63.60 74.6 155.4 29.6
Org 58.8 4.86 12.3 16.8 75.5 370.8 252 3356 953
1.10 0.0 1.49 4.3 24.93 33.59 201.2 33.5
Org + EM 58.6 4.8 12.2 23.6 51.8 365.8 141 3351 883
0.53 0.06 0.82 2.12 16.67 1.63 193.2 51.5
Che 54.0 4.2 13.1 33.0 30.5 287.8 204 4907 690
0.70 0.03 4.46 3.51 15.28 38.6 110.1 22.1
Che + EM 53.9 4.1 13.1 44.3 16.7 312.8 163 4642 634
0.36 0.04 2.77 1.35 8.82 23.7 130.1 10.74
Data showing means SE (n = 9). ChM = chicken manure; Org = bokashi; Che = chemical fertilizer.
1992). In this study, available phosphorus concentration on 50 days after
transplanting were higher in EM treated soils than untreated soils. This might
be associated with the activities of the EM microbes. However, on 90 days
after planting, the nitrogen and available phosphorus concentrations were
lower in EM-treated soils. This might be associated with more absorption of
the nutrients by the plants that showed faster growth and higher fruit yield in
EM-treated plots than untreated plots. Even if the EM liquid was directly
applied to soil at the same time with chemical fertilizers, it also showed
growth promotion and yield increasing effects.
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Part II: Microbial Applications 179
Photosynthetic Activity
Effect of Fertilization. Photosynthetic capacity (PC) and dark respiration
were maintained higher at the later growth stage in plants of the bokashi
treatment than in those of chemical and chicken manure treatments. This
result was visible from the plant appearance at the later growth stage. Plants
of bokashi treatment maintained more active young leaves and developed
more young fruit than plants in other two treatments. This was due to more
nutrients sustained in the soil of bokashi treatment than in soils of other
treatments (Table 2). Quantum yield was higher in plants of bokashi and
fertilizer treatments than plants of chicken manure treatment. The reason for
this result is not clear.
Effect of EM Inoculation. EM inoculated to bokashi and chicken manure
and directly applied to soil together with chemical fertilizer increased photo-
synthetic activity, dark respiration and quantum yield. This result was consis-
tent with plant growth, plants appearance and fruit yield at the later growth
stages.
Sugars, Organic Acids and Vitamin C
Effects of Fertilizations. The sugars in tomato fruit are mainly glucose,
fructose and sucrose. The concentration of sugars in fruit varied with the
fertilizers. As shown in Table 3, the fruit in plots fertilized with chicken
manure contained the highest concentration of sugars and those in chemical
fertilizer plots had the lowest concentrations of sugars. Compared with the
chemical fertilization treatment, the organic acid concentration of fruit in
bokashi-fertilized plot was high, followed by the treatment with chicken
manure. The ratio of sugars to organic acids was higher in fruit with the
chicken manure treatment, resulting in a sweeter taste of fruit. The ratio of
sugars to organic acids in the bokashi treatment was similar to that in the
chemical fertilizer treatment, but the fruit grown with bokashi-fertilizer was
more tasteful since both the sugars and organic acids were higher. As shown
in Table 3, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) concentration was lower for the chemi-
cal fertilizer treatment than for the two organic fertilizer treatments. The
results suggested clearly that organic fertilization improved fruit quality
shown by sugar, organic acid and vitamin C concentrations. The bokashi and
chicken manure contain not only nutrients but also organic matter required
for plants. Organic matter plays important roles in plant growth and develop-
ment by releasing nutrients, improving soil physical and chemical properties
and promoting root activity. The nutrients released from the organic materials
are in balance with various elements. Some physiologically active substances
released from organic matter can increase root activity (Yamada, 1997).
Tomato plants with a high root activity can penetrate more deeply in the soil
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NATURE FARMING AND MICROBIAL APPLICATIONS
180
TABLE 3. Sugars and organic acids in the ripe tomato fruit from different
fertilization treatments
Sugars (g kg1) Organic acids (g kg1)
Treatment Sugars/acids
Sucrose Glucose Fructose Total Citric Malic Total Ascorbic
ChM 1.01 33.4 29.8 64.2 6.32 1.80 8.12 0.16 7.91
0.62 1.8 1.0 0.42 0.42 0.019
ChM + EM 0.68 33.0 30.7 64.4 6.41 1.99 8.40 0.19 7.66
0.45 0.4 0.5 0.09 0.28 0.010
Org 1.43 30.7 27.0 59.1 6.98 1.85 8.83 0.12 6.70
0.21 4.3 1.5 1.22 0.85 0.0004
Org + EM 1.70 29.5 29.1 60.3 6.96 1.69 8.65 0.14 6.97
0.55 1.8 1.1 1.35 0.03 0.007
Che 0.24 25.1 25.2 50.5 6.57 1.48 8.05 0.11 6.28
0.11 3.7 2.1 1.06 0.25 0.004
Che + EM 0.64 26.6 26.9 54.1 6.69 1.24 7.93 0.12 6.78
0.17 4.2 1.9 0.78 0.18 0.009
Data showing means SE (n = 9). ChM = chicken manure; Org = bokashi; Che = chemical fertilizer.
with improved physical and chemical properties. This enable tomato plant to
absorb water in deep soil layers an irrigation is reduced. Reduced irrigation or
low water management can increase sugar concentration of fruit (Yamada,
1997).
Effects of EM Inoculation
EM inoculated to the organic materials or applied directly to the soil with
chemical fertilizers did not have a significant effect on fruit sugar and organic
acid concentrations per unit of dry mass. However, the EM treatment in-
creased fruit yield. Moreover, increasing the fresh yield might also dilute the
active substances such as sugars and organic acids. If the fruit sugar and
organic acid concentrations are calculated on per plant, the effect of EM in
increasing sugar concentration becomes apparent. As shown in Table 3, EM
did increase the fruit vitamin C concentration. In all the treatments of organic
and chemical fertilizer, EM inoculation increased vitamin C concentration in
tomato fruit, although the mechanism for this effect of EM is not clear.
Dynamic Changes in Sugars and Organic Acids in Developing Fruit.The
changes in concentrations of sugars during fruit development in different
treatments showed the same trend, as in Figure 2. The concentrations of
sugars increased steadily from stage 1 (green fruit) to stage 4 (ripe fruit), but
the increasing extent was lower before stage 2 than thereafter. This suggested
that different kinds of fertilizers affected the fruit sugar concentration mainly
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Part II: Microbial Applications 181
FIGURE 2. Dynamic changes in sugar and organic acid concentrations of
tomato plants fertilized with bokashi and chemical fertilizers.
60
50
40
30
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
1234
stage
Bokashi
Bokashi + EM
Chemical 144
Chemical + EM
Sugars (g kg1)
Organic acid (g kg1)
1234
at the later development stage. Though the organic acid in all treatments
steadily increased from beginning to the end, there was very little increment
after Stage 3. This suggested that the effect of different fertilizers on organic
acids were mainly at early stages of fruit development.
The integrated results showed that if the nutrients in organic materials were
available at the early growth stages, both chicken manure and bokashi could be
used as substitute for chemical fertilizer with a comparable yield and higher
quality. Both quality and yield increasing effects could be expected from EM
inoculation to the organic fertilizers and application to the soil directly.
CONCLUSIONS
Plant growth and fruit yield were low in the bokashi-applied plots at
earlier growth stages but were higher at later growth stage because of the low
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NATURE FARMING AND MICROBIAL APPLICATIONS
182
nutrient availability at the beginning and high nutrient sustainability at the
later stage. Concentrations of sugars were highest in fruit of plants fertilized
with chicken manure and lowest in fruit of plants with chemical fertilizers.
Organic acid concentration was higher in fruit of bokashi-fertilized plants
than in fruit of other plots. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) concentration was
higher in fruit of plants fertilized with chicken manure and bokashi than in
those fertilized with chemical fertilizer. EM inoculation increased fruit yield
and vitamin C concentration. If the nutrients in organic materials were avail-
able, both chicken manure and bokashi could be used as substitutes for
chemical fertilizer with a comparable yield and higher quality. Increased
yields and improved quality could be expected from EM inoculation either to
the organic materials or to the soil directly.
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... Furthermore, studies showed that organic waste Bokashi improved the plant growth performance in early and later growth, yield, and nutrient. (Xu et al., 2000;Gómez-Velasco et al., 2014;Olle, 2021;Verrillo et al., 2021). ...
... Effective microorganism (EM) Bokashi is the use of a variety of anaerobic microbial inoculum. EM Bokashi had low tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) plant growth in the early stage as low nutrients were available at the beginning stage compared to chicken manure or inorganic fertilizer amendment (Xu et al., 2000;Erdogan and Mustafa, 2021). In contrast, the application of Bokashi delays the germination rate in passion fruit (Passiflora edulis L.) (Marcon et al., 2020). ...
... Nitrate and available P concentration increased 50 days after transplanting in the amendment of EM Bokashi (Xu et al., 2000). Bokashi improved plant growth due to its rich composition, including bioactive compounds, ripening, and increased nutrient content (Abed El-Hamied, 2014;Olle, 2021). ...
... Scientists have shown that EM enhances seed germination and vigor in tomato [4]. EM also increases the yield of tomatoes [5][6][7]. ...
... Photosynthesis and fruit yield of tomato plants were increased by EM inoculation with both Bokashi and chicken manure [7]. EM, used in conjunction with green manure (i.e., Gliricidia leaves), increased tomato yields; by the third year, EM yields were comparable to those obtained using a chemical fertilizer [5]. ...
... Mohan [10] found a higher yield and lower glycoalkaloid content in Bokashi-treated (including EM) tomatoes. EM inoculation increased the photosynthesis and fruit yield of tomato plants [7]. For tomatoes, Bokashi and EM1, when used alone, in combination, or in combination with inorganic fertilizer, significantly increased mean fruit weight over untreated controls and total marketable fruits harvested during the crop season [11]. ...
... The regression analysis between the fruit yield and fruit number (R 2 5 0.74; P 5 0.05) (Fig. 6) showed an increase in fruit yield with per unit increment in fruit number in various treatments. Our results were similar to Xu et al. (2001), who reported a 13% and 24% decrease in tomato fruits per plant and total yield in OF treatment, respectively, compared with IF. Researchers explained that nutrient mineralization of OF in soil takes time, and thereby organically fertilized plants grew more slowly at early stages, which resulted in lower yield compared with those fertilized with IF. ...
... The authors explained that LOF improved the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil through increased nutrient availability and increased area of root absorption through mycorrhizal inoculation. Further, Xu et al. (2001) also confirmed a 15% increase in tomato yield in treatments where plants were treated with OFs and microbial inoculation compared with plants treated with OFs without inoculation. They explained that microbial inoculum produced some plant growth regulators during reproduction that eventually changed the properties of the organic material leading to more nutrient availability in inoculated treatments. ...
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Recent studies suggest that arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) have the potential to improve the growth and yield of eggplant ( Solanum melongena L.) under soil-based organic production systems. However, the application of AMF in organic soilless vegetable production in a greenhouse has not been well studied, creating an important knowledge gap. Therefore, two greenhouse experiments [Experiment 1 (E 1 ) and Experiment 2 (E 2 )] were conducted to investigate the effect of AMF ( Glomus spp.) on the growth, gaseous exchange, and yield of eggplant fertilized with various liquid organic fertilizers (OFs) and inorganic fertilizers (IFs) in a soilless greenhouse production system. The experiment was conducted in a split-plot design with four replications in which liquid OFs [OF 1 (5N–1P–1K), OF 2 (0N–5P–5K and 3N–3P–3K), OF 3 (3N–1P–1K), OF 4 (5N–1P–2K), OF 5 (3.7N–2.7P–3.7K), and OF 6 (3N–3P–5K)], and IFs [IF 1 (6N–4P–4K) and IF 2 (4N–0P–1K and 1N–3P–5K)] were randomized as main plot factor, and AMF [inoculated and uninoculated (control)] as a subplot factor. Results indicate that AMF inoculation had no significant effect on the growth, gaseous exchange, and yield parameters of eggplant. Among different OFs, the eggplant fertilized with OF 6 resulted in a 4.3% and 3% reduction of leaf area compared with top-performing IF 1 treatment in E 1 and E 2 , respectively. Further, the OF 6 treatment resulted in a 12% and 15% reduction in total yield per plant compared with IF 1 in E 1 and E 2 , respectively. The differences in plant gaseous exchange parameters were also nonsignificant for eggplants fertilized with different OF and IF treatments in both E 1 and E 2 . These results conclude that Glomus spp. were not associated with a significant increase in the yield of eggplant in the soilless production system. However, OFs were performing similar to IFs in terms of growth and yield, which could be due to a higher nutrient availability of these OFs, which are highly useful for the production of eggplant in greenhouse soilless production systems.
... EM promotes effective germination, flowering, fruiting and ripening of plants; as a result of application of EM, the physical, chemical, and biological parameters of soil are improved (Boligłowa & Gleń, 2008). In principle, EMs are widely used in fruit and vegetable production, animal production, environmental protection or composting processes (Kotarba & Paśmionka, 2015;Xu, Wang & Mridha, 2000). Based on the literature, fertilisation of soil with EM, in combination with irrigation, increases the content of various elements (e.g. ...
... The effect of EM and mineral fertiliser on the increase of micro-and macroelements in vegetables was not confirmed in the study. However, enriching composition of vegetables in nutrients following the application of EM technology in cultivation has been observed by other researchers (Fawzy, et al. 2012;Wierzbicka & Trawczyński, 2011;Xu, Wang & Mridha, 2000). ...
... EM promotes effective germination, flowering, fruiting and ripening of plants; as a result of application of EM, the physical, chemical, and biological parameters of soil are improved (Boligłowa & Gleń, 2008). In principle, EMs are widely used in fruit and vegetable production, animal production, environmental protection or composting processes (Kotarba & Paśmionka, 2015;Xu, Wang & Mridha, 2000). Based on the literature, fertilisation of soil with EM, in combination with irrigation, increases the content of various elements (e.g. ...
... The effect of EM and mineral fertiliser on the increase of micro-and macroelements in vegetables was not confirmed in the study. However, enriching composition of vegetables in nutrients following the application of EM technology in cultivation has been observed by other researchers (Fawzy, et al. 2012;Wierzbicka & Trawczyński, 2011;Xu, Wang & Mridha, 2000). ...
... EM promotes effective germination, flowering, fruiting and ripening of plants; as a result of application of EM, the physical, chemical, and biological parameters of soil are improved (Boligłowa & Gleń, 2008). In principle, EMs are widely used in fruit and vegetable production, animal production, environmental protection or composting processes (Kotarba & Paśmionka, 2015;Xu, Wang & Mridha, 2000). Based on the literature, fertilisation of soil with EM, in combination with irrigation, increases the content of various elements (e.g. ...
... The effect of EM and mineral fertiliser on the increase of micro-and macroelements in vegetables was not confirmed in the study. However, enriching composition of vegetables in nutrients following the application of EM technology in cultivation has been observed by other researchers (Fawzy, et al. 2012;Wierzbicka & Trawczyński, 2011;Xu, Wang & Mridha, 2000). ...
... The higher chlorophyll content might also be due to higher absorption of nitrogen in leaf as nitrogen is a major part of chlorophyll, the pigment which plants use to trap solar energy to produce sugars. However, results of this study were in agreement with the findings of others (Wang et al., 2000). A significantly higher total chlorophyll content as well as higher accumulation of metabolites (reducing sugar, total phenol) might have resulted from enhanced plant growth and biomass production (Kohler et al., 2007). ...
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The present investigation was conducted with an aim to decipher the effect of seed applied bioinoculants on nutritional status of neem seedlings and biological properties of growing media under nursery conditions. Healthy neem seeds were collected from trees growing in university campus and given five treatments viz., Azotobacter (nitrogen fixer; T 1), Pantoea agglomerans (plant growth promoting rhizobacteria; T 2), Pseudomonas fluorescens (phosphorus solubilizing bacteria; T 3), consortium 1 (PAU recommended; T 4), consortium 2 (T 1 +T 2 +T 3 ; T 5) and control to record their effect on survival percentage and nutrient content viz., N, P and K after 3 and 6 months. Soil attributes of the growing media along with chlorophyll and total soluble sugars from leaves were estimated after 3 and 6 months. Application of consortium 2 increased survival percentage of neem seedlings along with nutrient content of root, shoot and leaf portions of neem seedlings. Available P, K, organic carbon, alkaline phosphatase and dehydrogenase activity were also found higher in soils treated with microbial consortium 2. Among all treatments, consortium 2 reflected maximum nutrient content accumulation in all parts of seedlings. Soil analysis also revealed better rhizospheric conditions in terms of available phosphorus, potassium content and enzymatic activity. This study endorsed the positive impact of bioinoculants application on better performance of neem seedlings.
... These results are in agreement with those obtained results by Hou et al., (2013) who reported that, Organic fertilizers can be helpful to improve the leaf photosynthetic rates and photosynthesis of tomatoes and Xu et al., (2000) who cited that, concentrations of sugars and organic acids were higher in the fruit of tomato plants fertilized with bokashi (organic fertilizer) than in fruit of other treatments. ...
... Marschner [36] reported that the stimulating effect of microorganisms on plant growth could be caused by the fact that they produce secondary metabolites, growth hormones, phytochelatin, organic acids and B vitamins. Xu Hui-Lian et al. [37] observed that EM stimulated photosynthetic processes and increased the weight of plants. In a study by Michalski [38], the effect of titanium on the nutritional status of strawberries (Fragaria × ananassa Duchesne) varied across years. ...
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Shallots (Allium cepa L. Aggregatum group) are cultivated on small areas, mostly to harvest mature bulbs with dry scales. Due to their exceptional taste and nutritional value, and a short growing season, they can also be grown for early bunch harvest. New shallot cultivation strategies are being sought to meet consumers’ growing expectations regarding the quality of vegetables, and their increasing awareness of global food safety. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of selected biostimulants on the biometric parameters, yield and nutritional value of shallot bulbs and leaves. The experimental factors were as follows: two biostimulant types—Effective Microorganisms (EM) and Goëmar Goteo (GG), two shallot cultivars—Bonilla F1 and Matador F1, grown for bunch harvest, and year of the study. Shallot leaves had a higher content of L-ascorbic acid, reducing sugars and nitrates than bulbs. Young bulbs had a higher content of DM and total sugars than leaves. The leaves and bulbs of shallot plants treated with EM accumulated the highest amounts of minerals. Macronutrient ratios were closer to optimal in shallot leaves than bulbs. The nitrate content of bulbs was inversely proportional to the nitrate content of leaves. Therefore, an increase in the nitrate content of leaves by around 330% led to an approximately 40% decrease in the nitrate content of bulbs. The correlations between the parameters of the chemical composition of shallots and shallot leaves show that the increase in the dry matter content of the bulbs (by approx. 60%) was accompanied by an increase in the L-ascorbic acid content in the leaves (by approx. 240%). The use of biostimulants in the cultivation of A. cepa L. Aggregatum group contributed to the reduction of L-ascorbic acid content in bulbs and had no positive effect on the leaves. Moreover, no positive effect of biostimulants on the reduction of nitrate content in shallot leaves and bulbs was observed, which is undesirable from the consumer’s point of view. After the use of biopreparations, the yield of shallots was lower than that of the control—by approx. 14% (EM) and approx. 4% (GG). Therefore, the measurable benefits of biostimulants in the cultivation of shallots grown for early bunch harvest do not balance the costs of their purchase and use.
Chapter
The soil carbon (C) stock is comprised of the soil inorganic carbon (SIC) and the soil organic carbon (SOC) stock. A site-specific steady state equilibrium soil C stock evolves under natural conditions depending on the balance between soil C inputs (plant residues) and losses (decomposition, erosion, leaching). The SIC stock is perceived as being less dynamic than the SOC stock with uncertain effects of organic agriculture (OA) on SIC sequestration rate, and not the focus of agricultural soil and land-use management. In contrast, the SOC stock receives increasing attention due to its importance for the global climate and soil health. However, increases in the SOC stock may also alter the greenhouse gas (GHG) balance and this must be addressed in the assessment of soil C sequestration practices to mitigate climate change. The historical loss of SOC due to the conversion of natural ecosystems to agroecosystems provides an opportunity to use soil and land-use management practices to partially replenish lost SOC stocks. Topsoil (0–15 cm depth) SOC stocks have been shown to increase under OA management by 1.98–3.50 Mg C ha−1 compared to nonorganic management. But the addition of exogenous C (e.g., with manure) for this improvement and SOC sequestration for climate change adaptation and mitigation may be important. Compared to nonorganic management, topsoil SOC sequestration rates did either not differ or were 0.29–0.45 Mg C ha−1 year−1 higher under OA, respectively. However, assessments of SOC sequestration and stocks for the entire rooted soil profile are scanty but needed to fully address long-term effects of agricultural management on SOC. Lower primary soil C inputs due to lower OA yields and higher losses by tillage compared to conventional no-tillage (NT) system may result in lower steady state equilibrium SOC stocks in OA systems. There is some evidence that root C allocation is higher under OA than that under nonorganic management. More agricultural soils will be managed in the future by OA driven by increasing consumer demand. The net effects of increased soil and land-use management for OA on the global soil C stocks must be critically assessed also in relation to long-term field experiments to support the design of climate-smart and climate resilient agroecosystems. Therefore, the objectives of this chapter are to describe in detail what processes and practices result in changes in SIC and SOC stocks and sequestration in soils under OA management.
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A greenhouse experiment was conducted to determine the effects of substrate, irrigation scheduling and nutrient solution electrical conductivity (EC) on plant growth and photosynthesis of tomato plants. The plants grown in peat-bags were irrigated by a potential evapotranspiration (PET) dependent irrigation system. The first peat-bag treatment (control) was irrigated when the soil water potential reached −5 kPa. EC was fixed at 2.5 dS m−1. EC of other two peat-bag treatments was varied between 1 and 4 dS m−1 with a soil water potential setpoint (SWPS) of either −5 or −9 kPa. Plants grown in rockwool and by the nutrient film technique (NFT) were treated with EC levels of 2.5, 4.0 and 5.5 dS m−1. EC variation resulted in higher photosynthetic capacity (Pc), quantum use efficiency (QUE) and dry matter production (DMP) under high SWPS compared with the control. The increase in DMP resulted mainly from fruit yield increase. In the treatment of EC variation with low SWPS, Pc and DMP were lower than in treatment of EC variation with high SWPS, but not different from that in the treatment of fixed EC. The high EC treatment of 4.0 dS m−1 decreased DMP in NFT, but did not in rockwool. EC of 5.5 dS m−1 decreased fruit yield but did not affect shoot DMP. However, high EC treatments, especially EC of 4 dS m−1, increased Pc as well as QUE in rockwool and in NFT. DMP and Pc was not positively correlated with each other for EC treatment. However, it is concluded that PET-dependent EC variation increases photosynthetic capacity, plant growth and fruit yield of greenhouse tomato plants.
The Completest Data of MI Encyclopedia (in Japanese) Tokyo: Sogo-Unicom, 385 p The Basis of Paradise--Kyusei Nature Farming
  • T Higa
Higa, T. (1994). The Completest Data of MI Encyclopedia (in Japanese). Tokyo: Sogo-Unicom, 385 p. Okada M. (1993). The Basis of Paradise--Kyusei Nature Farming. Atami (Japan): Seikai Kyusei Kyo Press, pp. 331-393.
Fertilizations for high sugar concentration of tomato fruit An organic fertilizer inoculated with EM used in nature farming practices. Ann. Asia-Pacific Nature Agriculture Network
  • K Yamada
Yamada, K. (1997). Fertilizations for high sugar concentration of tomato fruit. In Agricultural Technology--Vegetables II: Tomato, ed. Y. Kondo. Tokyo: Rural Cul-ture Association, p. 373. Yamada, K., S., Kato, M. Fujita, H.L. Xu, K. Katase and H. Umemura. (1996). An organic fertilizer inoculated with EM used in nature farming practices. Ann. Asia-Pacific Nature Agriculture Network, Oct. 8-12, 1996, Bangkok, Thailand.
An organic fertilizer inoculated with EM used in nature farming practices. Ann. Asia-Pacific Nature Agriculture Network
  • K Yamada
  • S Kato
  • M Fujita
  • H L Xu
  • K Katase
  • H Umemura
Yamada, K., S., Kato, M. Fujita, H.L. Xu, K. Katase and H. Umemura. (1996). An organic fertilizer inoculated with EM used in nature farming practices. Ann.
The Basis of Paradise--Kyusei Nature Farming
  • M Okada
Okada M. (1993). The Basis of Paradise--Kyusei Nature Farming. Atami (Japan): Seikai Kyusei Kyo Press, pp. 331-393.
The Completest Data of MI Encyclopedia
  • T Higa
Higa, T. (1994). The Completest Data of MI Encyclopedia (in Japanese). Tokyo: Sogo-Unicom, 385 p.
Fertilizations for high sugar concentration of tomato fruit
  • K Yamada
Yamada, K. (1997). Fertilizations for high sugar concentration of tomato fruit. In Agricultural Technology--Vegetables II: Tomato, ed. Y. Kondo. Tokyo: Rural Culture Association, p. 373.